Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Car lunged backward 10 feet in parking lot

asked by on

Recently I was parked in a large parking lot and when I got into my car and turned it on, it lunged backwards. Instead of backing out of the parking spot, I decided to make a call using my bluetooth. That took about 10 minutes and then after hanging up, I released the emergency brake, moved the stick shift to Reverse, and had my foot on the brake. When I released the brake, the car lunged backward very hard, about 10 feet across the parking lot where other cars could have been parked or a pedestrian, but fortunately were not. I immediately put my foot on the brake, stopping the car. I don't have any idea what caused the lunging of the engine. I've driven Toyotas for many years and never had this before. When researching online, I deducted that it might have been the power train that was the problem. Do you agree or is it something else and what should I do?

A: A few different things can cause the transm...

A few different things can cause the transmission to lurch like this. The most common would be something obstructing the gas pedal, a transmission issue, brake fault, or a transmission range switch issue. The vehicle should not be driven until this issue is resolved as it makes the car unsafe for the road.

I’d recommend having the vehicle looked at by a qualified technician, such as one from YourMechanic, who will be able to inspect your brake system and transmission. Once the issue has been pinpointed, an accurate repair can then be made.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Ask a Mechanic
(100% Free)

Have a car question? Get free advice from our top-rated mechanics.

Ask A Mechanic
Over 10,000 questions answered!

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Gear shift lever stuck in Park

This is a very common problem for your type of vehicle. Often, there is a component in the shifter mechanism that fails, and causes the shifter to be unable to come out of Park. The repair for this is to...

Q: Gear shift stuck in park.

The most common cause is the gear shift selector mechanism plastic lock release in the center console falls apart. The fix is to replace the shift control mechanism under the center console. There may be some aftermarket repair parts available,...

Q: Car dies immediately I take my foot off the gas

Does your car stall when you take your foot off the gas, or does it idle too high? You state both. Either way the most common problems are: Idle control valve is stuck or is sticking Intake gaskets...

Related articles

How Long Does a Heater Control Valve Last?
Keeping the right amount of coolant in a car is essential in keeping the engine at the right temperature. Failing to have the right amount of coolant or even bad elements...
P2428 OBD-II Trouble Code: Exhaust Gas Temperature Too High Bank 1
P2428 code definition A P2428 trouble code signifies that the PCM has detected a problem in the exhaust gas temperature sensor circuit in bank 1, which subsequently contains the number one...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.